Fantastic engine, fantastic handling, fantastic looks. Expensive to service, but immense fun
One exhaust valve spring broke at 26000 Km (fortunately, no damage to the valve or piston).
Exhaust manifold both cracked, awaiting replacement (very common problem on 355s).
Battery charge does not last more than 1 week if the car remains unused.
The F355 is one of the best handling cars in the world, it's immense fun dispatching Porsches, Nissan Skylines and other more common machines into the weeds, as they desperately try to keep up on winding mountain roads. However, it requires considerable skill to take the 355 to 100% of its limits, due to its mid-engined layout and sharp steering response.
Comfort has proved surprisingly good on long journeys, and fuel consumption is rather good (15 to 25 mpg depending on driving style). The trunk is large enough for two people's items for a short holiday.
The straight line performance, however, did not impress me so much: the engine has little torque below 5000 rpm, and to expect slingshot acceleration it's always necessary to keep it revving very high. Other cars like the new Maserati Spyder 4200 or the Porsche 996 Turbo deliver a massive punch from 2000 rpm onwards; the F355 always requires high engine speeds, which can make it a less relaxed drive if you are looking for instance, BMW M5-dispatching mid-range performance.
I was unlucky with a valve spring breaking soon after buying the car, hence the low reliability rating; however, it's performed faultlessly ever since.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th February, 2002